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SPC IV: Gordon Lim Takes Down Largest SPC Prize-Pool Ever!

Posted by : DM101 on Thursday, March 23, 2017 permalink
The Singapore Poker Championships returned to the MV Aegean Paradise on 18th-19th March for the opening chapter of Season 2. With a revised Main Event buy-in, a modified Day 2 structure, topped-off with the very juicy Player-of the-Year challenge courtesy of Natural8, players have heaps to look forward to in the coming season. SPC IV got the season underway with a flying start.

SPC Natural8 Main Event

With the total of 251 runners counted once the registration for Flight 1B ended, the SPC series once again set a personal prize-pool best of $86,400.

After 11 levels of poker were played throughout the action packed first day, 66 runners found themselves in the running for the SPC IV Main Event Champion and a $17,200 payday. Ending the first day as chip leaders were Poh Chee Keong, with 122,300 chips, Ricky Foo with 104,900 chips, and Sean Tay, with 122,100 chips.

With many people managing to hold on to their short stacks going into the second day, we saw a flurry of people committing their chips in a ‘make-or-break’ situation to give their stacks a boost. In almost no time at all, we were down to 39 runners and playing hand-for-hand for the approaching bubble. After just a few rounds of hand-for-hand, all-in action broke out on 4 different tables. The crowd and players uninvolved with the showdowns waited with bated breath, only for the short stacks to hold out and double through on all tables.

As play continued to inch through the hand-for-hand sequence, there was a three-way all in action on one of the tables. One unlucky player’s short stacked pocket Jacks found itself up against pocket Qs and pocket 10s, and was sent to the rail when the board failed to deliver a Jack.

Hand-for-hand continued as the next player eliminated would see 36 runners in the money. Every player exercised utmost caution, sizing up their opportunity to take chips when opportunities presented themselves. Alecz Chan felt it was time to commit his chips with a premium hand, pitting his AJ against pocket 9s. With 2 overs against the pocket 9s, Alecz was roughly even money of being the dreaded bubble boy. However, a board of 6,6,2,K,Q brought no help to his AJ and subsequently saw him eliminated in 38th position. To ease the pain somewhat, Alecz nabbed a gorgeous bubble prize of Macallan 12 Year, courtesy of the good folks at Eighteen@Bali Modern Bar.

And so, with the hand-for-hand done and dusted, and 37 players part of the biggest cash prize pool in SPC history, the crowning of a champion beckoned. With the pressure of the bubble broken, many opted to put their short-stacked chips at risk for a concerted strike at the final table. The main event saw a number of three-way all-ins; most notably pocket Qs completing a straight on the river to triple-up, and Norbert Koh’s pocket 8s tripling up against pocket 9s and AQ.

Play approached the final table bubble with 10 players still slugging it out. The bubble burst when two players pushed their chips in the middle; Haresh tabling AQ while Norbert Koh, the covering player, tabling AK. Brutally dominated, Haresh saw his final table hopes go up in smoke as a Q failed to materialise on the board. Haresh, regardless, bags an Eighteen@Bali sponsored bottle of Remy Martin for his troubles.

Final table action was not for the faint of heart. Eugene Zhou with A10, the covering player, went up against 2 players who had committed their stacks with pocket Js and pocket 7s. A board of 9sQs2sAd10s brought no help to Eugene as pocket Js and pocket 7s managed to find rivered 4-card flushes, with pocket Js picking up a triple up.

Norbert Koh, the chip leader with 700,000 chips, looked to consolidate his position with a 50,000 raise pre-flop. Ng Jiunn Yang and Calvin Tan push all in. Norbert, with pocket 3s, locked horns with Ng’s AJ and Calvin’s AQ. The flop of A84 saw Calvin dominate both Ng and Norbert, and the turn and river of 9 and 7 meant that Calvin would eliminate Ng eliminated in 9th place, while taking a hearty bite out of Norbert’s stack.

Alvan Tan was the next player to be eliminated. After Alvan raised 60,000 pre-flop, Gordon Lim, first-time final tablist, pushed all his chips in on the small blind. Alvan went into the tank, and after some deliberation, called with KdQh. Unfortunately, Gordon had AA. A 2sTh9c board gave Alvan some additional outs, but the turn 5c and river Td dispatched Alvan to the rail in 8th.

Rubin Tay, also at his maiden final table, was the next player to be eliminated from the Main Event. Gordon Lim made it 100,000 pre-flop. Calvin Tan and Rubin both obliged and put their chips in the middle. Lim snap-called their all-ins and tabled JJ. Calvin showed up with AJ and Rubin with pocket 4s. Rubin was drawing to 2 outs when the flop delivered TA9, with Calvin spiking top pair, and a turn of 7 and river 8 meant that Rubinstein was eliminated in 7th, while Gordon was lucky to chop the pot with Calvin when both found a straight on the river.

At this point, Gordon Lim was sporting of 1.2 million, or more than a third of the chips in play. Project ‘Avoid Gordon’ was well underway. With the chip boss having folded before him, Eugene Zhou was the next to go in 6th when he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. His 7hJs steal attempt was snapped off by Tan Tong, who tabled AsTh without hesitation. The board brought no salvation, and the tournament was duly down to five.

Norbert Koh’s tournament life had been hanging in the balance as well, but he mustered up a dramatic recovery after his Qh8h went up against Gordon’s QcJs. Both Norbert and Gordon picked up top pair on the flop, but Lim’s Js kicker was in a dominant position. An improbable 8s on the river meant Norbert made 2 pairs and, undoubtedly, immense relief.

Norbert then picked up some momentum by eliminating two players in quick succession. First was Tan Tong, in a fight for his tournament life with A3 against Norbert’s pocket 9s. 9s was able to hold and the tournament lost Tan Tong in 5th position, good for a very healthy chunk of change.

Phuah Yi Yuan, who had been nursing the shortest stack for most of the session, managed to stay afloat with some well-timed shoves and plays. He then found a barrier he couldn’t cross in the shape of Norbert, who defended with former’s JhTd reshove with Ac3d. An A on the turn effectively put paid to Yi Yuan’s hopes, and he departed in a very respectable 4th position.

General consensus among the railbirds was that the odds on Norbert shipping the whole shebang were shortening dramatically. Gordon however, had other ideas. In a flurry of high drama, Calvin was sent packing in 3rd place. The affable Calvin had navigated the final table with some precision, while never seeming able to accrue any momentum. He was in the top three in spite of his hands, not because of. On three separate occasion alone at the final table, he’d found himself 3-outered, and his final hand would prove no different. With his chips in the middle, his AdQs to had Gordon’s AsJs in terrible shape. A portentous board of 4c5sJd appeared, and the 9dKs of later streets sealed his fate.

The elimination of Calvin swung the tide in Gordon’s favour. With an almost a 5 to 1 chip-lead over Norbert, Gordon sought to press home his advantage. Norbert committed his chips in the middle with As6c while Gordon, pretty much priced in to call any two, tabled Qd2c. The board, 2h10hKd2d3c rewarded the chip leader with trips and also brought Norbert’s hopes of a turnaround to an abrupt end.
Congratulations to Gordon Lim on a very well-played tournament, and for joining the storied pantheon of LWPS and SPC champions!

Full Results

Main Event:

1st – Gordon Lim - $15,200*
2nd – Norbert Koh - $12,00*
3rd – Calvin Tan - $10,000*
4th – Phuah Yi Yuan - $6,500
5th – Tan Tong - $5,000
6th – Eugen Zhou - $3,800
7th – Rubin Tay - $3,100
8th – Alvan Tan - $2,500
9th – Ng Jiunn Yang - $2,000
10th – Haresh SN - $1,600
11th – Kelvin Sim - $1,600
12th – Saw Chan Hui - $1,600
13th – Ignatius Ee - $1,300
14th – Sean Tay - $1,300
15th – Ricky Foo - $1,300
16th – Cheng Cher Whey - $1,100
17th – Rodney Trevor - $1,100
18th – Ong Ding Xiang - $1,100
19th – Deric Lee - $900
20th – Peh Jun Hao - $900
21st – Feng Zhao - $900
22nd – Jeremy Hutchings - $900
23rd – Lim Min Soon - $900
24th– Lew Yin How - $900
25th – Adrian Chiew- $900
26th – Poh Chee Keong - $900
27th – Andy Seo - $900
28th – Grindra Pradana Sutoyo - $700
29th – Ronald Wong - $700
30th – Prashant Chainani - $700
31st – Muthukumaran Govindasamy - $700
32nd – Carlo Reyes Coloma - $700
33rd – Mohd. Faizal - $700
34th – Michael Thedy - $700
35th – Rian Tan - $700
36th - Tiong Tiw Yong - $700
37th - Andy Teo - $700

*Adjusted payouts from 3-handed deal.

The SPC Head-Hunter:

1st – Tan Hai Shien - $2,210*
2nd – Ronald Wong - $2,210*
3rd – Andy Teo - $1,710*
4th – Neo Zhi Han - $1,710*
5th – Ong Ding Xiang - $1,710*
6th – Sim Weng Yuen - $700
7th – Liew Kok Kong - $600

*Adjusted payouts from 5-handed deal

The Singapore Poker Championships congratulates all winners, and thanks all participants for continuing to make SPC your go-to poker destination. See you all in June!

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